I have read the Introduction and Chapter 1. Here's my thinking so far:
- Couldn't agree more that we need to have a common understanding and belief of what we are trying to accomplish.
- There isn't a recipe for a culture of thinking, but when you have it you should know it. To me, it is rather like being in "the flow," you're absorbed in what your doing and highly productive towards your goal (Does that make sense?).
- Our expectations need to be focused "for our students" not "of our students." I like that distinction because it isn't about managing behaviors but about empowering students to learn.
- He references Vygotsky's work (fitting for us - "Find the zone!") and how we learn "with others in the midst of authentic activities" and the importance of the intellectual experiences we offer students.
- I identified with Nicole (pg 23) as far as my experience in school. I was pretty good at playing the game of school. I vividly remember 3 learning experiences:
- 4th grade - special summer camp where I learned about the stock market. We actually tracked and graphed our own selected stocks. I was engaged.
- 10th & 11th grade - Had a great ELA teacher - Mrs. Scott - who really cared and challenged your thinking - I still didn't do my best work much of the time, but I was forced to think
- 12th grade - Trig - Had to use what I knew to mathematically figure out the outline of a side view of a car. It was the closest thing to understanding that higher level math that I ever knew.
- Learning is a consequence of thinking! (pg 31)
Questions/What I'm pondering:
- How might we change the culture - from one of completion of work and getting grades? Recently, I was talking with a SBISD parent who believes in everything this book is about but told me that when her kids got to high school she was done fighting the fight and told her kids to just "get the grade."
- How might we compel all to make a shift like this? It is a lot of work - people need to model who they are as thinkers and learners (pg 8). As Ron says... that requires authenticity. Modeling: risk taking, reflection, success as outgrowth of failure... (Interesting because there is this notion of "work ethic" but aren't we training our students to think success is easily attained... that they can't fail...)
- What are "thinking" dispositions? Well, guess he spells them out, but just in case I might have some additional ideas... ;-)
- What if... our clientele understand that the model we went through isn't preparing our students (and didn't really prepare us) for success. (pg 29)
- What if ...our clientele understand that they have a stake in their child's education. As my friend and old next-door neighbor growing up says, she wishes her parents had valued school/learning like mine did.
Here's the real meat for me:
"When we make thinking visible, we are provided a window into not only what students understand but also how they are understanding it... We need to make thinking visible because it provides us with the information necessary to plan the opportunities that can take students' learning to the next level and enable continued engagement with the ideas of study." (pg. 32)Why am I asking that we read this and consider the role of technology? What "affordances" does technology bring to documenting student thinking? As Grant Lichtman says in his book #EDJourney,
"Technology provides some of the arrows in the quiver of innovation. Real innovation in learning means reframing the mindset of the archers - the students and teachers..."I think reframing what we value through the lens of thinking will, in fact, begin our innovation. How might we begin?